Fabulous frankfurters: Hot dogs in Vancouver

Often taking a backseat to that other backyard barbeque favourite, the burger, hotdogs deserve a time to shine. All-meat sausages, flame grilled to perfection and nestled into the ideal bun are delicious unto themselves and excellent vehicles for innovative condiments and toppings. These joints are some of the most notable in the city.

Japadog (Food Truck)

1
530 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7

When Japadog hit the streets of Vancouver in 2005, nobody was quite sure what to make of the menu offerings of nori, wasabi mayo and teriyaki-topped dogs served by a very friendly but non-English-speaking vendor. It didn’t take long, though, before the humble hotdog stand began to speak for itself. Ten years later and the franchise boasts trucks all over the city and even a permanent location downtown. People — and many celebrities according to their picture wall of fame — can’t get enough of these Japanese dogs.

Mean Poutine

2
718 Nelson St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1A8

They may be known for their poutine, but this late-night joint in the Granville Entertainment District serves a few mean dogs, too. From the classic all-beef jumbo dog to the more outrageous pizza dog topped with pepperoni and mozzarella or the mac ‘n’ cheese topped with — you guessed it — mac ‘n’ cheese, these fat frankfurters will definitely put the fuel in your belly you’ll need after a night out on Granville Street.

Falconetti's East Side Gril

3
1812 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A5

More a sausage house than a hotdog joint, Falconetti’s is famous for its house-made sausages, on display in the window of the butcher shop next door. Featuring favourites like merguez, spicy Italian and Polish on crusty buns, as well as more innovative offerings like the Thai chicken topped with coconut, curry spices, hoisin and ginger and the Cajun-style chorizo, it’s hard to choose just one. Thankfully, they have a sampler platter: your choice of three complete with accompanying dipping sauces and fries.

Bestie

4
105 Pender St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T6

Who says your hot dog has to come in a bun? The guys behind the ultra-hip Bestie on Pender Street in Chinatown have brought the German-Indian fusion favourite, the curry wurst, to Vancouver’s mainstream. This is a bun-free sausage — your choice of Bratwurst, chorizo, beef & stout banger or vegetarian — sliced over perfectly crisp fries and topped with a curry ketchup. This is street food for the ages. But we recommend you grab a seat in their minimalist and bright dining room and pair that wurst with a local craft brew or Kombucha.

The Black Lodge

5
630 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3K4

It’s hard to resist the strange allure of the ‘90s cult classic TV show Twin Peaks. That there is a bar on Kingsway that pays homage to the legacy of Laura Palmer, Agent Dale Cooper and the rest of the odd characters and their small, Washington town, is a testament to the show’s lasting appeal. The twist here is that the food is vegetarian, and that includes the John Candy Dog, an unusual but successful combo of dog topped with cream cheese, caramelized onion, sauerkraut and dried coconut. The hot dogs are not what they seem.

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